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|Title:||The struggle for orthodoxy: Religion, revivals, and Anglo-American relations in the British northern colonies|
|Author(s):||Gatyas, Kenton Bernard|
|Doctoral Committee Chair(s):||Pruett, John H.|
|Department / Program:||History|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
History, United States
|Abstract:||This work traces the theological origins and developments of dissenters from the Church of England who settled in the British northern colonies. The views of New England dissenters are examined as well as those of dissenters in the proprietary colonies which included groups such as the Quakers and Pietists. The implicit affinity for emotionalism among these dissenters is highlighted, even though many of them would have been quick to condemn anything perceived as extreme emotionalism or "enthusiasm."
During the early eighteenth century there was a gradual drift toward Arminianism in many of these dissenting sects which had previously stressed Calvinism. This drift was halted by a wave of popular revivals, led by the Calvinist (albeit Anglican) preacher George Whitefield. These revivals are collectively known as the Great Awakening. While the Awakening revived the ideas of Calvin it also brought a new stress on an emotional conversion experience to confirm one's religious status. Many colonists welcomed this, others did not. The result was that the Congregationalists and Presbyterians in the northern colonies often saw their churches divided. Those embracing the revivals became the New Lights (in the case of Congregationalists) or New Sides (in the case of Presbyterians) while opponents of the revival were dubbed the Old Lights or Old Sides. In cases where no anti-revival church existed in an area, people begin to turn to the Church of England as an institutional alternative. The resulting growth experienced by the Church of England, coupled with increased missionary efforts in America led by the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel resulted in many colonists becoming fearful of an attempt to formally establish the Church of England in America and to send a bishop here. These fears helped to contribute to the growing anti-British sentiment which ultimately fueled the Revolution.
|Rights Information:||Copyright 1996 Gatyas, Kenton Bernard|
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2011-05-07|
|Identifier in Online Catalog:||AAI9702521|